How to Shop Like a Pro and Enjoy Shopping!
When you hear the word "shopping", what do you picture? If your first thoughts are along the lines of the following; struggling to find parking, weaving in between crowds, being bashed into by trolleys and baby prams; or feeling exhausted - you're not alone. I'm one of those people too - and I used to love shopping.
What happened to the good old days when we couldn't wait to go to the mall and "shop until we dropped "?
I decided to put myself through a little test today and see how prepared I could make myself for the dreaded trip to the mall - and just how much I could take.
I chose a very good day for this - it's a Saturday, it's still the beginning of the month, and it was raining - meaning, the mall would be packed.
Here are 11 shopping tips I discovered today that really helped. I think I'll do this from now onwards and avoid the stress of shopping around Christmas time!
Top Tips For Shopping
- Write up a list of (a) what you want and (b) what you need. Take a look at your wardrobe and decide what clothing items you need. Then, decide what colours you think will work best with your current wardrobe.
- Draw up a budget and stick to it. I find that it's better to plan a bracket figure than a set amount. Sometimes, certain clothing items will be on sale, or you'll see the perfect pair of shoes that wasn't really on your list, but that you've been searching for months for.
- Eat before you leave. Shopping when you're feeling hungry or dizzy is not a good thing. I always leave the house with a bottle of water to keep me hydrated while on the way to the mall, and while walking between shops. You can buy this at the mall as well. Another nice thing to keep on hand - to give you that pick up when you're feeling tired, is an energy or snack bar.
- Get there early. I usually try to get to the mall at least 10 - 15 minutes before the shops open. This gives me enough time to find the perfect parking spot close to the entrance, and to be the first customer in the door. (Shopping later in the afternoon is also quieter, but by that time the mall is usually dirty and the staff are tired and not as pleasant).
- Wear comfortable shoes. It's great to want to get dressed up and go to the mall, but if you're going to be walking around for a few hours - it's best not to wear those heels. I wore flat pumps today and was on my feet for 5 and a half hours. No blisters or pain when I got home - what a pleasure!
- Wear as little as possible. No, I don't mean skimpy clothing. Wearing fewer items of clothing (depending on the weather), makes it easier to try on clothes in the fitting rooms.
- Don't have a time limit. If you don't have somewhere to be after shopping, and you're going to be buying quite a few things, don't put extra stress on yourself by giving someone else a time as to when you'll be back. This way you really can take your time to source out bargains and to not grab something that you don't really want - but need, because of the time.
- Make peace with the fact that there are going to be crowds. Even if you get there early, they'll eventually come. Don't get impatient with people that dawdle or cashiers who are slow. Relax. Getting irritated won't make it any faster, and it's a sure way to put a damper on your shopping trip.
- Look out for discounts. As you don't have a time limit, you'll have enough time to hunt through the "for sale" and discounted items - who knows, you might just find a few bargains!
- Break up your shopping. Shopping is supposed to be retail therapy - it's supposed to be fun. After you've visited a few shops, or are halfway through the mall - make a stop at one of the coffee shops. Sip a cappuccino, read a magazine - relax, and rest your feet!
- Bring home a treat. I'm not sure about you, but I feel guilty when I leave my husband at home for half the day while I'm out galavanting around the mall. I usually stop in somewhere and get a little "surprise" to take home to him - even if it's a chocolate muffin. He immediately forgets about how long I've been gone!